Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2016

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EMAIL YOUR LETTERS TO EDITOR@ABMP.COM. INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME AND THE CITY AND STATE IN WHICH YOU RESIDE. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO EDIT LETTERS FOR LENGTH AND CLARITY. FROM FACEBOOK Love the bigger size and feel of the new magazine! This January/ February 2016 edition was the best I have read in years. The focus on the lymph system and the article on the long thoracic nerve compression were both excellent. Thank you! ANN BROOKS LOVIN' LYMPH I was glad to see the articles on the lymphatic system in Massage & Bodywork magazine [ January/February 2016]. This subject is of special concern to me—both personally and professionally. The lymphatic system gets little emphasis in massage education. We study the musculoskeletal system extensively, but give little time to understanding the function of this system that lies within the superficial fascia—the layer of body tissues outside of the muscles and beneath the skin. Both exercise and massage affect the flow of the lymph when there is normal lymphatic function. As Sandy Fritz talks about in her article [page 54], the lymph flows through channels regulated by valves. But when those valves cease to function adequately, the situation changes drastically. This breakdown, or overload, of the lymphatic system occurs in advanced cancer, heart disease, and primary lymphedema. This appears as edema, and can be a very painful condition. In these conditions, gliding and kneading strokes of Swedish massage do not help move the lymph, and can actually cause more pain and discomfort. It is very important for massage therapists to understand this when working with a compromised lymphatic system. So how can we help our clients with edema? Avoid gliding, kneading, or any technique that causes friction on the tissues. The use of broad, encompassing compression can help to alleviate the pain associated with edema. It is important to communicate carefully with the client to avoid anything that is painful to the touch. Why compression? Take a look at medical treatments for swelling. They may involve the use of diuretics and mechanical drainage of fluid buildup in the body. But they also involve the use of elevation, compression bandaging, and compression garments, for either acute edema or chronic lymphedema. What does this accomplish? It gives relief, and helps to gently allow some movement and drainage of the lymph system, through the use of broad, encompassing compression. These words comprise three of the principles of Comfort Touch nurturing acupressure I have been practicing and teaching for many years. Not only can broad, encompassing compression help alleviate swelling, it provides pleasurable comfort, and a much needed respite from the pain and discomfort of the condition. MARY ROSE LONGMONT, COLORADO DON'T MISS THE JOY Thank you for featuring Elaine Stillerman's truly excellent article "Massage for Moms- to-Be" [Massage & Bodywork, November/ December 2015, page 50]. Too often practitioners shy away from working on pregnant women. This article is very thorough in providing readers with all the precautions and contraindications to allow their work to be safe and effective. For space reasons, her heavy concentration is on the precautions, so I just wanted to add my voice about the utter joy (and importance) of working with mothers in the pre- and post- partum period. Do not deny yourself the privilege for fear of doing something wrong. The following in Carole Osborne's article [page 62] was great as well: "We will know our society is getting its priorities straight when midwives are paid more than bank presidents." TOM MYERS WALPOLE, MAINE EXAMINING OUR BELIEFS ABOUT MONEY I'm so glad to see this issue being addressed in the January/February 2016 issue of Massage & Bodywork magazine [Mindful Money, page 30]. I believe personal finance should be a part of the basic massage curriculum and I teach some of it in Business Ethics & Professionalism. I also bring in a guest speaker with 20 years of experience in the area. He does an awesome presentation on how money works, showing students how to set up their personal finances correctly. VIOLA CROWDER-MOGER KILLEEN, TEXAS READER FORUM C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 11

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